2018. Here we are.
I’ve been reflecting on this past year this week. Sometimes intentionally, sometimes not so much. 2017 was a wild ride. Naturally, there is the impact of all the worldwide nonsense that occurred on my mental and emotional state (and I know many people can empathize with me on that). But there is also all the personal incidents and issues I overcame coupled with all the joy I was able to experience. I’m probably going to ramble some, but here goes:
I had to face a verbally and emotionally abusive ex who not only threatened and stalked me, but created a revenge porn site to try to get me fired and slander me to mutual friends and business acquaintances. Handling a protective order, a subsequent appeal of that, police investigations, government security re-investigations, too many court proceedings, the stress of almost losing a job that I love (I didn’t!), several bannings from alternative lifestyle events (to “not fan the fire” and upset him if he was there because he is “hurting and unstable” was the rationale given to me), and the loss of “friends” put a lot of things in perspective for me. That entire process, along with some intense and sometimes downright comedic divorce proceedings, revealed a lot about people and their natures to me. It was both heartbreaking and refreshing.
Getting into the best financial state of my life (despite essentially paying alimony for six months to someone who made three times more than me) was a personal accomplishment that I will forever be amazed that I achieved.
I managed to move into a new apartment during the same week as my final divorce hearing, as well as plan and execute one of my closest friend’s bridal shower. I was a fucking boss that week and a half. I watched my niece grow into even more of a beautiful, self aware, considerate little girl, and cried when she and my sister moved back to Louisiana and were no longer living with me.
Last year, I attended so many discussion groups, burlesque shows, conventions, renaissance festivals, costume parties, themed happy hours, haunted houses, nerdy events, and even put on a few of my own! I took road trips and international trips, visited a few historical sites. I went to and participated in several weddings, did some bucket list things (hello Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge!), and I ate SO MUCH GOOD FOOD.
And my people. I’ll write about this many times in the future: I would label myself a relationship anarchist. And when I develop connections, they go deep. My relationships – friends, family, partners, what have you – they are EVERYTHING to me. In 2017, I watched the people I love find jobs, get engaged and/or married, find love(s), have babies, buy cars and houses, go back to school, receive promotions, just be happy. And they still managed to support me! My immediate family and my (very small) main circle of friends have formed this cocoon of love around me that helps to further solidify the sense of security I’m slowly developing with this life that I’m intentionally building.
Not only that, but I was able to start new friendships that I hope to continue to deepen. I was also able to reconnect with some special people, and I will try my best to keep that connection alive and cultivate it even more than in years past.
I was blessed to have gained some truly incredible partners who make me smile, give me silly romance, and seem to never tire of feeding me delicious things. Even though we’re just starting to deepen our relationships, they have supported me so much this year . Can you imagine getting to know someone while they were going through [insert first reflective paragraph here]. Plus, they come with the sweetest metamours a woman could ever ask for.
I would be remiss not to talk about Daddy and his unconditional support. It’s been nearly three years that we have been together, and I have to admit that the majority of that time has been full of stress, drama, and a ton of learning experiences. But I wouldn’t trade my time with him for anything. He’s been a special kind of brightness that didn’t let me dissolve, melt, crash&burn, or otherwise cease to exist on those days where I thought I would just disappear. He eases around my triggers with the care and precision of a EOD officer. He helps me keep the negative aspects of my stubborn, perfectionist nature in check. This past year has built up our connection in many wonderful ways, and I can’t wait to see how our relationship continues to grow.
Reflection is good for me in many ways. I’m a very introspective person, which in my opinion is why my locus of control is internal. I enjoy delving into why I am the way I am, why I interact with others the way I do, and the reasons I do the things I do. But I’m also somewhat of a perfectionist, and sometimes my reflective thoughts start spiraling negatively. Case in point: there were many goals that I didn’t reach this past year and many situations that I felt I could have avoided or handled better than I did. Of course, my mind sailed directly into Charybdis, and I started getting a bit depressed thinking about how much of a failure I am. For a couple of days, I alternated between feeling intensely sad and apathetic. I was unmotivated to do anything but sleep and think.
I knew logically that I was showing all the hallmark signs of my depression flaring up, but I just couldn’t seem to get a handle on it this time. That is, until I opened up to Daddy, and then other partner, about my thoughts and feelings, even though I hadn’t fully processed them myself. I had a good cry at work. Daddy and I speculated on what it could be. Then my other partner sent me this:
He said to me, “2017 tried to kill you, and it failed — let’s celebrate!”
You know what? Yes, let’s do that. Shall we?